The Power of the Perfect Verb

Never underestimate the power of the perfect verb. One reason it’s so important to edit and revise our drafts at least twice is because when we’re dashing off draft one, we tend to pull out the most readily available verb in our mind – forms of to be, to have, to get, to do, etc.

We can find much better verbs than those.

Harnessing the power of the well-chosen verb transformed my writing. Think about the simple act of running as an example. Your characters can run, sure, and your reader will understand that they are moving their legs faster than a walking pace. But consider all the different kinds of running your character could do instead that would convey the scene more clearly. Your character could sprint or race, trod or slog, trot or struggle. The best verb will show your readers the action, while the simpler verb will merely tell them what happened.

The right verb can also do the work of the more cumbersome and generally to be avoided adverb-verb combo. We don’t need to “whisper quietly” – we can just whisper. We don’t need to “slowly realize” something – it can “dawn” on us.

So this week, grab your highlighter and print out your first draft. Highlight every verb in your essay. Heck, while you’re at it, highlight all your adverbs too. Are you grabbing the simple, less descriptive verb instead of the stronger, more precise one? Are you over-relying on “to be” to do the work that action verbs could be doing? Are you using unnecessary adverbs instead of finding a better verb?

Strengthen your verbs and watch as you strengthen your overall writing.

Yeah write super challenge

The yeah write super challenge #2 may be over and done with, but stay tuned for news for the next one coming in early 2017! Make sure you sign up for our email blast so you don’t miss out on any announcements regarding super challenge #3.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Nonfiction know-how:

class is in session

What do you remember from learning to write in school? Did you have a particular teacher who made writing interesting? Did you read a story or article and think “oh, I wish I could write like that?” We get so used to the structured learning in school that sometimes when we’re out on our own in the Real World we’re not sure how to continue – or even begin – the learning process. That’s what this month’s nonfiction know-how is about: finding the master class that’s happening all around you.

Want more info?

Is this your first time here? Check out Sunday’s post which kicked off the week here at yeah write. Our email subscribers can also join us in the yeah write coffeehouse at its home on Facebook. If you’ve never taken the time to read them, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines. The rules are a little different for each of our challenges and we’d hate to have to send back great writing on a technicality.

Did you happen to end up here because you suddenly saw yeah write in your stats? Sometimes members of our community spot excellent writing and they send those posts on over to us. We hope you don’t mind. Take a look around and get to know our community. We’re sure you’ll be happy here.

Have questions you can’t find the answer to by poking around the site? Email us or find us on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll happily help you out.


How to submit and fully participate in the challenge

Basic yeah write guidelines: 1000 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction personal essay, creative opinion piece or mostly true story based on actual events.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the nonfiction badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry
2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid
3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message
4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge
5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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